By JD Hershberger – Horizon Sports Reporter
HESSTON, KS – The final score of Hesston College’s win over Rhema Bible College, 71-62, might deceive a common viewer into thinking the Larks won a close game against the Eagles. In truth, Hesston held a 69-39 lead with 4:30 left in the game before head coach Dan Harrison removed his starters, sparking a 23-2 Rhema run to end the game. The poor end notwithstanding, the Hesston women played well in the first game after Christmas and earned the praise of Harrison.
“Our top group did a lot of things right and at the end of the day I’m happy about our performance,” he said. “A win is a win is a win.”
The win was a tough one for the first 14 minutes of play. A strong start from Rhema guard Jamie Davis, combined with some sloppy play from Hesston, resulted in a 22-22 tie with six minutes to play in the opening half. That’s when reserve freshman forward Bethany Snow got her excellent game going, scoring six of her team-leading 16 points in a span of three minutes as a part of a 8-2 Hesston run. The Larks run eventually ran to 18-4 over the final six minutes of the half as Hesston entered the locker room up 40-26.
The Larks kept their foot on the pedal in the second half, but did so slowly and with strong defense. Hesston held Rhema to just one point over a span of 6:10 to start the half en route to a 49-27 lead. Rhema found their three-point touch shortly after that, but Hesston was able to stretch the lead even further until it reached the aforementioned 30-point margin, the largest of the game. Rhema’s starters dominated Hesston’s bench after that point, but at the end one couldn’t help but feel as though the Larks blew the Eagles out.
“We got rebounds, we hit our layups, and we got fast breaks. Those were really key for us,” said Harrison. Other high scorers were Sophomores Nikkita Lester, Bryana Young, and Makayla Ladwig who all scored 10 points.
Hesston (9-9) will play next Jan. 22 at Brown Mackie College (Salina, Kan.) and will play at home on Jan. 25 against Johnson County Community College.